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The Rays and the Initiations - Part Two - Introductory Remarks
It will not be possible for you to comprehend the synthesis which governs the four final initiations, and for these experiences we have as yet no adequate language. All that is possible is to indicate certain spiritual trends and tendencies and - as this section is written primarily for those who have taken or who are preparing to take one or other of the initiations - I can only hope that some meaning will be conveyed to those persons who are ready.

A careful study of the above tabulation should give you [341] a somewhat different idea anent the whole subject of initiation. The concept which has to supersede the one at present extant is that of group initiation, and not that of the initiation of an individual aspirant. In the past, and in order to get the idea of initiation into the minds of the people, the Hierarchy chose the mode (now obsolete) of holding out the prospect of initiation before the earnest disciple; upon this they placed an early emphasis of its peculiarity, its rewarding nature, its ritual and ceremonies, and its place in the scale of evolution. Since the fact of initiation had been grasped by many and achieved by some, it has become possible today to reveal what has always been implied, that initiation is a group event. If clear thinking had taken the place of a selfish individual aspiration, the fact of group initiation would have been obvious and for the following reasons, inherent and implied in the whole situation:

  1. The soul - in its own nature - is group conscious and has no individual ambitions or individual interests, and is not at all interested in the aims of its personality. It is the soul which is the initiate. Initiation is a process whereby the spiritual man within the personality becomes aware of himself as the soul, with soul powers, soul relationships, and soul purpose. The moment a man realizes this, even in a small measure, it is the group of which he is conscious.
  2. Only the man whose sense of identity is beginning to expand and become inclusive can "take initiation" (as it is erroneously termed). If initiation were a purely personal achievement, it would throw the man back into the separate consciousness, out of which he is endeavoring to escape. This would not be spiritual progression. Every step upon the Path of Initiation increases group recognition. Initiation is essentially an expanding series of inclusive recognitions.
  3. Initiation admits the aspirant into membership in the Hierarchy. This involves, speaking esoterically, the relinquishing of all separate personality reactions in a series of progressive renunciations; these culminate [342] in the fourth initiation, and are again mysteriously emphasized at the ninth initiation.

It dawns on the initiate, as he proceeds from one initiation to another, that each time he moves forward on the path or penetrates into the heart of the Mysteries in company with those who are as he is, who share with him the same point in evolution, and who are working with him towards the same goal, that he is not alone; that it is a joint effort that is being made. This is in fact the keynote of an Ashram, conditioning its formation. It is composed of disciples and initiates at various stages of initiate-unfoldment who have arrived at their point of ashramic consciousness together, and who will proceed together until they arrive at that complete liberation which comes when the cosmic physical plane drops below the threshold of consciousness or of sensitive awareness and no longer holds any point of interest for the initiate.

This is one of the new factors in hierarchical methods and techniques which I have had the responsibility of bringing to public attention, and so correcting the erroneous teaching of those trained under orthodox (so called) schools of occultism. The Master K.H., in one of the few (the very few) paragraphs in The Mahatma Letters which are genuine and not simply the work of H.P.B., gave a hint to aspirants of that time when He said that so many of them were so "spiritually selfish." This spiritual selfishness has led the average esoteric student to appropriate initiation and to make it personal and individual. Yet one of the prime prerequisites for initiation is a clear and concise recognition of one's own group, not through a process of wishful thinking, but through factual cooperation and work upon the physical plane. I said group, my brother, and not organization, for they are two very different things.

Have carefully in mind, therefore, the fact of group initiation, and forego the process of considered thought anent your preparation for initiation. Some groups are being prepared for initiation in which the following factors control - as far as the individual is concerned: [343]

  1. A group of men and women whose souls are on some one ray are gathered together subjectively by a Master on the same ray, for group training.
  2. Opportunity is given to such people to contact on the physical plane some of those who are thus subjectively linked, and thus mutually convey a sense of group solidarity. The subjective relationship is assured by an objective contact. Recognition is therefore a preliminary test of initiation, and this should be remembered.
  3. Such people thus being trained and related are, from the angle of the initiation to be taken, at the same point in evolution. They are taking the same initiation and are being subjected to the same tests and difficulties. These tests and difficulties are due to the fact of the personality ray which may be (and usually is) quite different to the soul ray. It is the personality ray which works to prevent contact, to mislead in recognition, to retard progress and to misinterpret information. As long as a disciple in training is focused in his personality, group initiation will not be possible for him, his recognition of co-aspirants, will be fleeting and rapidly disturbed by the critical lower mind, and a wall of thought-forms, created by the personality, anent the group members, will be thrown up and prevent a united moving forward through the Door of Initiation.
  4. Group initiation cannot be achieved by a group in training until the members, as a group, have developed their particular "spiritual enterprise." It is the law of the spirit that the disciple must appear before the Initiator empty-handed, but that in group formation the group members unitedly contribute something to the enrichment of the Ashram. This may take the form of some considered project in line with the Plan, whereby they testify to their comprehension of that Plan and demonstrate to the initiate-company in which they find themselves, and those senior disciples to whose contact they are to be admitted, that they have already proven their fitness for acceptance and have proven it along the line of service. It has to be a group [344] enterprise, a group service and a group contribution. The specific contribution of the individual does not appear.
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